STUMPS new single, Mt. Pleasant, is out now! We chat to frontman Kyle Fisher about their music and more.
Image: Charlie Hardy
On their latest track, Mt. Pleasant, Indie-rock band STUMPS navigate feelings of love and connection. We chat to frontman Kyle Fisher about the track, the bands creative process when creating music and more!
Taking its name from the street bassist Merrick Powell grew up on, Mt. Pleasant is lyrically open to interpretation, something Fisher feels allowed him to be more open during the songwriting process. The song originated from a drunken stream of subconsciousness Fisher had one night, telling MILKY “I had tried to not make the lyrics too self-deprecating or, at least, too specific to myself, and through that I think I found something that was more universal than initially intended.”
The nostalgic accompanying music video is an intimate look into friendships and relationships. Wanting to avoid representing a clichéd romantic relationship, the band chose to focus on platonic relationships, in particular the camaraderie of friendships.
Read our full interview with STUMPS frontman Kyle Fisher below!
Tell us a bit about how you came into music... I was surrounded by my father’s fairly eclectic record collection from a young age, and after his passing my mother made good on a promise she made, to have my brother and I learn guitar. Since that time I’ve made some of my most cherished memories through music, and I hope to make many more.
Your new single Mt. Pleasant navigates feelings of love and connection. Could you tell us about the song and the importance of exploring these themes? The lyrics came from a drunken stream of subconsciousness I had on a particularly self- loathing night. At the time, I had tried to not make the lyrics too self-deprecating or, at least, too specific to myself, and through that I think I found something that was more universal than initially intended.
The track comes at a time in the worlds history where we can’t physically connect with each other. What messages do you hope listeners take away from Mt Pleasant? That is the first time I’ve noticed that serendipity, so thank you for pointing that out. I’d honestly love for someone to attach this song to a person, or a memory, or maybe just an experience. No matter how bitter or sweet the notion, I’d hope that this song could be a reminder of a moment.
The accompanying music video is an intimate look into friendships and relationships. Could you tell us about your intentions with the clip and how involved you are when it comes to planning the visuals for each track? Well, it would’ve been painfully obvious and clichéd to have a platonic, romantic relationship be in the focal point of the narrative. So, we went to some lengths to avoid that pigeon-hole, we simply wanted the visuals to be as natural as possible. Thankfully, we have some stunningly handsome friends and family that were up for being a part of the clip. On the performance side we took a bit of inspiration from some 1980’s film clips, particularly The Police and Tears for Fears.
My brother Brae was second camera on the day, and my cousin Hugh was one of the protagonists, so it genuinely felt involved from all angles of not just friends, but actual family too. It was also nice as this was the first clip of ours where you can see Jonny and Merrick playing their instruments. Looking back, although the intent of the clip was to be simple and efficient, it amounted to be an extraordinarily special moment where we were working with so many brilliant people, including ones that are very close to our hearts.
There’s a nostalgic presence to the clip, which could be heightened due to the fact it highlights the comradery of friendships and nights spent with those you love. At this present time where we’re required to isolate from each other, how important was it for you to convey and represent these important relationships? It just felt natural to not force any idea or narrative onto the song. We felt the song to be impactful enough without having to push an agenda, so we tried our best to be restrained and let the simplicity of their friendship carry the song.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs? Honestly it differs a lot between each song. Sometimes things will fall out of us without any real thought. Other times we will have intricately mapped the song before recording. Or, worse still, we sometimes will have to wrestle and struggle with a song for months before really “getting” what we were trying to uncover. It’s a watery business, but we have an extremely talented and committed producer Fletcher Matthews, who sometimes knows us better than we know ourselves.
How do you feel your music speaks to listeners? I’m a little unsure, and I quite like that naivety in being unsure. I hope it makes them sometimes contemplative, sometimes nostalgic and maybe sometimes a bit cheeky. In the end, I just hope it speaks.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why? Oh lord, I wish I could list them all. Kitschen Boy, Johnny Hunter, FRITZ, Jaguar Jonze, John Floreani, RAAVE TAPES, CLEWS, Dear Seattle, Eliza & the Delusionals, Trophy Eyes, Kwame, to name a few. A couple in there who we’ve had the absolute pleasure of sharing the stage with too.
What has been the most challenging part about creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic? For me, it’s been lyrical. I depend a lot upon experiences and stories to initiate lyrics, and unfortunately there’s only so many lines you can write about an obligatory, work-related, zoom drinks session. Actually, there aren’t any.
Will there be an album or EP in the near future? If so, what can fans expect from a full- length release? You’ll just have to wait and find out.
You’re scheduled to hit the road this October, touring the east coast of Australia. What can audiences expect from a STUMPS live show? Well, hopefully we’ll be there in October, but our live shows are a swirling vortex of energy, sweat, and tacky dancing. We pride ourselves on our live performances and getting back on the road will mean a great deal to us. So, we’ll be sure to make this run of shows one to remember.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
British Dance Rock
Best song of 2020? Volcanic – Gordi or Gospel for a New Century – Yves Tumor
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Children of Men dir. Alfonso Cuarón
The best/most memorable show you’ve ever performed? Waywards in Sydney, our first ever sold-out show. Our first proper headline show actually. The following day there were signs put up in the main room that there was to be “NO CROWD-SURFING OR FUN OF ANY KIND PERMITTED”. It was heaving.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes
Best concert you have been to? Grizzly Bear at the Sydney Opera House for most mind-blowing, Perspectives final show at the Oxford Art Gallery for the most emotional, and most fun was Bloc Party at the Hordern Pavilion way back in 2008.
Last concert you went to? Outside of COVID, it was Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers supported by Sputnik Sweetheart and Kitschen Boy at the Oxford Art Gallery.
Guilty music pleasure? Latin Dad music. Check the Chef dir Jon Favreau soundtrack.
The most amount of people you’ve ever performed in front of?
A Day for the Beaches Festival in our hometown.
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Who do you think has had the most influence on the music industry?
The audience. Always.
What advice would you give yourself a year from now?
Go to sleep man.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician? If anyone remembers the actual moment I envy their liver.
THE MT. PLEASANT TOUR DATES
Saturday, 26th September 2020
Grace Darling, Melbourne
Friday, 2nd October 2020
Thursday, 8th October, 2020
Oxford Art Gallery, Sydney
Friday, 9th October, 2020 SOLD OUT
Oxford Art Gallery, Sydney
Saturday, 10th October, 2020 SOLD OUT
Oxford Art Gallery, Sydney